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Star For Immediate Release
December 14, 2015

CONTACT: Mary Brandenberger

Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services releases Spokane Police Department first progress report

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services today released the six-month assessment report of the Spokane Police Department’s efforts in the collaborative reform initiative. The report tracks the progress in implementing 42 recommendations to improve use of force policies, processes and practices.

In December 2014, as part of the collaborative reform process, the COPS Office released its initial report of the Spokane Police Department, which provided 42 findings and 42 recommendations to address use of force practices, improve tactical policing strategies and build stronger collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect.

In the six months following the release of the initial report, the Spokane Police Department has made significant progress in 32 of the 42 recommendations. Specifically, SPD has completed five recommendations and is making satisfactory implementation progress on another 27 recommendations.

Of the remaining 10 recommendations, four are directed at the Office of the Police Ombudsman and deemed to be beyond the control of the department, and four are subject to union negotiation. Interim Chief Dobrow reached out to the union, discussed the recommendations that are affecting them and advised that these items will be topics during the 2017 negotiations. Informal negotiations begin in summer 2016 on these topics. The remaining two recommendations remain open with no notable actions taken this evaluation period.

The SPD has continued its practice of publishing annual use of force reports, further examined behavior patterns of officers with high frequency use of force incidents, communicated changes to the department’s policies and procedures to staff, established a community outreach strategy and plan regarding use of force incidents, and held an annual citizen’s academy. The COPS Office will continue to monitor the status of all recommendations, including those already deemed complete.

“The Spokane Police Department has shown real progress in completing and making strides towards implementing a majority of the Department of Justice recommendations,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “The goal of these recommendations is to not only address use of force policies and practices, but to rebuild the fractured relationship with community stakeholders.”

As part of the collaborative reform process, the COPS Office will release a final progress report that outlines all recommendations implemented in the 18 months following issuance of the assessment report.

The six-month assessment report, the Collaborative Reform Initiative: Six-Month Assessment Report on the Spokane Police Department, is available here:

The assessment was administered as part of the COPS Office's Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance, designed to provide technical assistance to agencies facing significant law enforcement-related issues. Using subject matter experts, interviews and direct observations, as well as conducting extensive research and analysis, the COPS Office assists law enforcement agencies with enhancing and improving their policies and procedures, operating systems and professional culture. The COPS Office can issue a series of recommendations and be instrumental in assisting agencies with the implementation of those recommendations.

The COPS Office, headed by Director Ronald Davis, is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit